About the University of the Philippines Campus Ministry. There is a common belief that the University of the Philippines is a bastion of atheism and progressive activism. UP is often thought of as a godless university. But for the many who truly know UP, there is little truth in these presumptions. The University, however, fosters a very diverse environment in which one could be exposed to a variety of cultures, religious beliefs, political ideologies, and many other factors that create the UP experience one that is truly interesting. There is, then, a need to present the Catholic voice in UP’s marketplace of ideas.
There is no doubt that the University strives to develop an ethos of self-giving and service. The Oblation strikingly symbolizes the character that is expected of every iskolar ng bayan. The University of the Philippines, beyond its emphasis on academic excellence, encourages every learning individual to grow beyond his personal and private interests and nurture a profound sense of civic and social responsibility. With this vision comes the need for the individual to learn about his society and to discover where he stands. An ethos of self-sacrifice and service calls for a good grasp of values and of the concept of one’s ultimate meaning. Meaning, then, necessitates religious tradition and spirituality. Hence, spirituality – sadly one the most neglected aspects of UP life – is discernibly relevant to the University’s search for wisdom.
UP is not godless and it cannot be godless. The Campus Ministry Office seeks to create the culture that promotes the spirituality that profoundly complements the University of the Philippines’ academic environment.
Programs. The Ministry maintains the Dormitory Apostolate as it seeks to provide UP dormers the opportunities to enrich their spiritual lives and strengthen their Catholic faith through regular formation sessions given to local communities in the dorms.
The University Apostolate is the Ministry’s arm with which it sees to the spiritual needs of the entire UP community such as attending to requests for masses and other liturgical activities. The CM, afterall, is the prime link between the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice and the UP community. Under the Ministry’s care are various religious-oriented student organizations and individual constituents of the University envisioned to be transforming agents of change inspired by the teachings of the Church. Moreover, this is the arm through which the Ministry promotes the kind of faith that works beyond the walls of the church through forums and other endeavors that make the Christian more socially aware.
The Ministry also provides counseling, guidance, and life direction to those in need of such services. The Office maintains a space and resources apt for prayer meetings, counseling sessions, confessions, and other activities relevant to the functions of the Ministry.